Wednesday, September 08, 2010

For the love of God, NO: Open letter to Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville FL

You insist that burning a Quran is "neither an act of love nor of hate." While that is difficult to believe, and difficult to imagine how you might actually believe it -- to the extent that it smells of duplicity -- still, let us suppose that you believe it to be true. The fact that you proclaim it is not an act of love means you have already parted company with Jesus.

If you are not acting in love -- and you freely admit you are not -- then you testify against yourselves that Love of God and Love of Neighbor are not your highest goals. Jesus said that Love of God and Love of Neighbor are the two greatest commandments; yet you choose to set these aside and set something else above these. You set aside the teachings of Jesus when you do this, and in setting aside his teachings you are not his followers. You testify against yourselves that Jesus' teachings on what is the highest good is not your own idea and that you will not listen to him, or that you judge his teachings on this are not worth following all the time.

The most striking thing in all of this has been your utter refusal to repent, your complete hard-heartedness towards anyone who might, frankly, steer you to a wiser course. If you think you are sending the message "the Quran is dangerous" you are badly mistaken. When you speak without love, you are a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal; don't kid yourselves, when you burn a Quran the only thing that people will hear and see is the ugly noise that you are making. Any other message you may have will be lost; the Bible promises that.

Anything you do as a church, or at the church, should be done in the name of God. This cannot be done in the name of God, as it sets aside the greatest of the commandments. As a church you must not burn anything, or do any other loveless acts, ever; especially not in the name of God.

If you love God, if you love Christ, if you trust that Jesus was right that the highest and best of all the commandments is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor, if you believe the Bible that no one will hear you if you have no love -- then for the love of God, stop.